Plagued Beast

Whenever demons or undead take over a country, or some horrible magical event happens in a region, there’s always the question of what life in a realm of death is actually like. Like, what happens to the animals? Do they flee? Do they remain, skittish and agitated? Do ghouls eat them all or do they find a way to persist? Or are they, too, morphed?

The plagued beast is the result of demon plague—in Golarion, yet another stain from the Worldwound. But in your game it can work for any necromantic or fiendish affliction, and is useful for giving your undead something to ride that’s sturdier than a skeletal steed.

The centaurs of the Iron Lands澳门英皇娱乐 are in dire straights. Demon plague is racing through their herds, decimating the stock just before the yearly horse fair the centaurs depend on for buying winter stores. If they can’t cull the undead beasts and save their horses, they will have to rely in the Medichar Bank for a loan—an ill prospect, as Medichar law protects only humanoids from slavery if they default. Adventurers are needed to hunt down the plagued steeds (possibly hindered by Medichar Bank agents) and discover the root of the infection.

Loch Annis is famous for three things: a series of three sentry keeps, the hag (long slain) that gave the loch its name, and a serpentine beast, likely an elasmosaurus, that draws tourists and naturalists. But when some necromantic storm engulfs one of the keeps, the lake monster “Annie” becomes a plagued horror, terrorizing towns up and down the loch.

A traveling circus’s showstopper澳门英皇娱乐 is covering one lucky farmer’s animal in gold. Crowds for miles around come to watch the Eeling & Sons Circus lead a horse, mule, or kite deer through a magic mirror, which it comes through dusted in real gold leaf the farmer can then curry out of the animal’s hide. But three months into the act, an alarming pattern is emerging: Every animal that has gone through the mirror comes down with demon plague. After a plagued deer terrorizes a halfling village, the sheriff wants the circus stopped—permanently.

The Worldwound 56 & Pathfinder Bestiary 5 194

Long time no see, huh? Happy holidays, everybody.

Looking for the piranha swarm? We’ll cover it when we cover the dunkleosteus.

It’s My Annual Christmas Radio Show!

One last exam? Got an extension on that paper? Shopping like crazy? Already very merry? Whatever your status, tune in for two hours of semi-indie Christmas music on The New Indie Canon, now to 11 PM (Tues, 12/17/19, US Eastern): http://wmuc.umd.edu/wmuc-high.m3u

I’m at PAX Unplugged!

Breaking my radio silence—sorry y’all, life is a thing—to say that on the spur of the moment I decided to go to PAX!

I just arrived (so I’ve already missed two things I want to go to) but I’ll be hanging out all day and possibly tomorrow as well.

I’ll definitely try to see Shut Up & Sit Down in the afternoon, so that’s the best place to track me down if you want to say hi; otherwise I’m one of the many dad-bod bearded dudes in a black shirt (so unusual for a board game convention, right?).

澳门英皇娱乐Have a great con everyone!

Enjoy My Punk Hangover…

…as my radio show recovers from the Rancid/Pennywise/Suicidal Tendencies/Aquabats concert I went to this weekend. The usual mix of new, indie, and canon are on The Indie Canon, now to 11 PM (Tues 09/24/19, US Eastern), on 88.1 WMUC-FM and right here: http://wmuc.umd.edu/wmuc-high.m3u

Edit: Show’s over now, but you can stream/download the archived file till Monday, 09/30/19, at midnight.

It’s Been a Rough Week for the Music Industry…

…so we’ve got a lot of commemorations tonight. Don’t worry though–I’ve got plenty of new music too. Tune in now to 11 PM (Tues, 09/17/19, US Eastern) to : http://wmuc.umd.edu/wmuc-high.m3u

Edit: Show’s over now, but you can stream/download the archived file till Monday, 09/23/19, at midnight.


The ram-horned, mantis-armed phasmadaemons personify death by fright. They also happen to cause death by fright (convenient, that!), courtesy of illusion spell-like abilities supercharged to be practically real, and they feed on fright, too—demonstrating, all in all, a horrifically efficient and thrifty biology.

Though phasmadaemons didn’t make it into the hardbound Bestiaries till number 6, they’ve been around since Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so GMs looking for a deep dive on their tactics, hunting habits and culture should look there. Two things in particular jump out at me, though. The first is how powerful (CR 17) phasmadaemons are—an indicator that causing death by fear alone somehow situates them closer to the daemonic ideal than, say, more base deaths such as drowning, being mauled, or exsanguination.

澳门英皇娱乐The second is that—though this isn’t really reflected in the rules, it’s a great story bit—phasmadaemons somehow also collect fearful imaginings and trade them with each other. I’m a big fan of the soul markets of the night hags, so the notion of even more quiddity-derived commodity trades excites me to no end.

Struck by an azata’s arrow澳门英皇娱乐, a thanadaemon goes mad as the celestial wound grows septic. No longer content to represent death by old age, it begins stalking the living, culling souls before their proper time—and in the process, disrupting a phasmadaemon’s carefully orchestrated hauntings. Offended, the phasmadaemon tricks mortal adventurers into hunting down the wayward thanadaemon, though all the while it also sends illusory torments to harry their progress and stoke their fear. Once the thanadaemon is slain, the phasmadaemon offers its thanks by revealing itself to the adventurers before attempting to murder them.

Fireworks, porcelain masks, and sinuous manticore puppets are all hallmarks of the Yung New Year’s celebrations. But the court sorcerer made a deal with the daemonic Lord of the Wastes to win Yung’s last war against the northern barbarian tribes, and now daemons have begun slipping unchallenged into the empire. The rise in terror and deaths are largely felt only as a malaise that hangs over the city. But that changes during the New Year parade, when a porcelain-masked phasmadaemon erupts out from under the procession’s manticore puppet and sends illusionary horrors to torment citizens.

Bugbears that perfect the art of stalking and terrifying victims are sometimes visited by a phasmadaemon. The daemon stalks the chosen bugbear over the course of three days and nights, attacking at random, setting up ambushes, and never letting the goblinoid sleep. Though few bugbears could hope to defeat a daemon in combat, if the champion does not show fear throughout the entire ordeal, the phasmadaemon will grant the bugbear some boon. Often these boons include the gift of an intelligent magical weapon, magical prowess (treat as added class levels or the half-field template),a spell-like ability, transformation into a greater barghest, or some other dark blessing.

Horsemen of the Apocalypse 52–53 & Pathfinder Bestiary 6 74

Hi guys. Been a while since we did a monster. For my Blogger readers, here’s some of what’s been going on—including some fun with monster reading recommendations, some big news, and some bleak news. For my Tumblr readers, thank as always for sticking around and keeping me company.

Celebrate 40 Years of WMUC-FM

Tonight we’re celebrating 40 years of on the FM band! Tune into The New Indie Canon now through 11 PM (Tues, 09/10/19, U.S. Eastern) for new music, old faves, and songs about the glorious medium of radio itself: http://wmuc.umd.edu/wmuc-high.m3u

PS: Here’s an article about it in UMD’s The Diamondback where I get quoted. A lot. A lot a lot. Yikes.

Edit: Show’s over now, but you can stream/download the archived file till Monday, 09/16/19, at midnight. (Ignore the first minute—that wasn’t me.)

So I Guess I Can Announce This Now


(Illustration by Mary Jane Parajon)


澳门英皇娱乐I might have done some work for Pathfinder 2E.

It might be in a book you can preorder now.

They might have just blogged about it over on Paizo’s website.

And here’s the best part: They didn’t just use a lot of my words. They kept my weirdness in (and in many cases, like the below, tweaked slightly to make it better).



Eleanor (one of my developers) has more details here.

I really, really hope you make lizardfolk characters and I hope you have a lot of fun playing them at the table.

It’s My First Show of the Fall Semester!

And I would absolutely love some company. Tune in now to 11 PM (Tues, 09/03/19, US Eastern) right here: http://wmuc.umd.edu/wmuc-high.m3u

Edit: Show’s over now, but you can stream/download the archived file till Monday, 09/09/19, at midnight.

Several times on this blog—particularly as my weekdaily posting schedule slackened in 2016 and 2017 and fell off to almost nothing in 2018 and 2019—I’ve mentioned changes to my life that have drawn me away from the computer: new radio show time...

澳门英皇娱乐Several times on this blog—particularly as my weekdaily posting schedule slackened in 2016 and 2017 and fell off to almost nothing in 2018 and 2019—I’ve mentioned changes to my life that have drawn me away from the computer: new radio show time slots, more work/life balance, more time at the gym, and even professional freelancing.

And somewhere in that list, you probably caught mentions of caregiving, and ambulance rides, and ERs, and long, long hospital stays.

I met —Katerina—at a radio station party in late spring of 2013. We were almost immediately inseparable, and spent that summer and fall going on road trips, playing games, and generally falling head over heels for each other.

And then one weekend in early 2014, she called me from Katsucon and told me she was having trouble walking and that she’d needed to borrow a hotel wheelchair.

This was our first brush with mitochondrial disease. I met her down at the convention and pushed her for the rest of the con. By the next week, she’d ordered her own wheelchair. And I spent the next five and a half years helping to take care of her and preserve her independence in the face of—once we’d gotten a diagnosis, which in itself took two or three years—a degenerative disease she knew would kill her.

Some people get a manageable version of mitochondrial disease. Kat got the version with gastroparesis, progressive organ failure, and profound muscle and nerve pain that left her in such daily agony she qualified for palliative care. None of which stopped her from loving life, traveling when she could, creating art, playing games, and making plans for a bright future.

Katerina passed away the morning of August 24. We laid her to rest in accordance with her Jewish faith on August 29.

澳门英皇娱乐She was this blog’s biggest fan. And I was—and still am—hers.

To support people still living with mitochondrial disease and to support disabled gamers in general, please consider a gift to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and Able Gamers, two organizations Kat was devoted to. Thanks.